Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Noise Petals - s/t mLP (1988, Stonegarden)

I wasn't aware of it at the time of purchase (or for that matter when I took it for an initial test drive), but Noise Petals was commandeered by Jeremy Toback, who would in five years go on to rock the four-string (and occasionally take the mic) in Brad.  Yes, that Brad, the Pearl Jam splinter project involving Stone Gossard.  Okay, I get it.  If you're not exactly starstruck by this revelation you're completely forgiven.

As for the record at hand, I was anticipating just about anything, but was hoping for something a la the Replacements or REM.  Instead, Noise Petals revealed themselves to be a nondescript collegiate guitar rock quartet, whose most prominent attribute fell to Toback's consistent bass poppin' forte.  Noise Petals vaguely suggests Me and Mr. Ray-era Miracle Legion, but that's about as specific I can get.  To my knowledge, this was the band's first (and last) will and testament. 

01. The More Things Change
02. North By South
03. Skin
04. Trespass
05. The Happy Song
06. You Should Be Afraid
07. Were Yeats Gene Simmons


Monday, April 29, 2013

I don’t think about tomorrow...

Ok, maybe not a M/M to die for...unless you have an ear for early '90s, dream pop gold.  Me thinks you won't be disappointed.

Having difficulty accessing the file?  Please try again a little later.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving Netkup's servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy. 


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mood Paint (pre-Pond) demo 1989

It didn't strike me as a remarkable album at first blush when it dropped in 1993, but Pond's debut album for Sub Pop was an ever so slow-charmer, gradually inculcating it's tuneful guitar crunch and sinewy pitch and sway into my cerebellum over the next several years.  Two respectable albums followed - The Practice of Joy Before Death and Rock Collection, but neither quite held a candle to it's immensely more intoxicating precursor.  While there were pre-album singles, there wasn't much evidence of life prior to Pond.  That was until one of my readers contacted me last year and shared a 1989 cassette by an Oregon trio dubbed Mood Paint who contained in their lineup soon to be Pond stalwarts Charles Campbell (guitars/vox) and Chris Brady (vox/bass).  For better or worse, Mood Paint's easy-goes-it penchant didn't carry over to the frenetic and feedback-ridden noise pop that would be uncorked by these very same hands in the Clinton-era.  That being said, the relatively lucid hue of these half-dozen tunes aren't the stuff of embarrassment, rather the product of a humbler, and dare I say, more approachable muse than the one that was about to come roaring to life in Pond.  A big thanks to Jeff for setting me up with everything!

01. When You Get What You Want
02. Cracks and Swirls
03. 25 Years Ago
04. Florida
05. Everything
06. The Dull Earth


Friday, April 26, 2013

VA - Pure Spun Sugar: An International Pop Compilation (1998, American Pop Project/Candy Floss)

Pure Spun Sugar's premise is that it's a decidedly anti-punk affair...but it's not all twee sweetness and light as it's title and cover art misleadingly project.  One of the album's key commonalities (with only a couple of exceptions) is it's emphasis on female-fronted groups.  So how does Pure Spun miraculously almost never exude a "chick-rock" vibe among it's fourteen grooves?  Chalk that up to a bevy of indie talents who more than get by with quality songwriting that completely transcends gender lines.

The highlights here are numerous.  Japan's Dizzy Joghurt contribute an exuberant slice of Shonen-like power pop in "Noncense Is Good," Dressy Bessy pitch us the indelibly hooky, mid-tempo "Makeup," and the San Diego based Sleazy Beats lend Pure Spun a pre-homicide paean to Phil Spector, that in retrospect is really how we'd all like to remember him (if we only could).  BTW, I wonder how that fella is holdin' up these days?  The album soon after pivots to the classic indie aplomb of Poastal, who emanate the old school Slumberland Records sound big time. Sweden's Aquadays take the cake as far as this comp's sublime quotient goes, with a Lush-ious stab at chiming dream pop, "Gem."  Red Dye No. 5, Balloon Chase Team and Twig all hit the indie guitar-pop g-spot, in that mid-90s sort of way.  Brian Jonestown Massacre are a surprise entry (and commercially, the biggest draw) that Pure Spun has to offer, with what appears to be a Bowie cover.  The big payoff for me comes relatively early on, courtesy of The Cherry Smash, whose "Split Screen" is an immense surge of gazey-guitars (think Fudge, early Lilys) and intoxicating harmonies to trade a limb for.  I put up a single of theirs quite some time ago that you would do well to investigate.  As for the scan of the album sleeve, let's just say light pink and grey don't make for the most complimentary colors.

01. Balloon Chase Team - White Star
02. The Cherry Smash - Split Screen
03. Jenny Mae - Ralston
04. Dizzy Joghurt - Noncense Is Good
05. Bidston Moss - Silver Top Taxi
06. Dressy Bessy - Makeup
07. The Sleazy Beats - Phil Spector's Birthday Song
08. Poastal - Kicked in the Face
09. Aquadays - Gem
10. Red Dye No. 5 - Hope
11. Cuckooland - Rock On
12. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Good Morning Girl
13. Twig - Clock
14. Azalia Snail - Getting Lei'd


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Wrens - (the incomplete) Overnight Success demo (1997)

Because the bulk of their catalog has remained in print (at least digitally) for all these years I've been doing Wilfully Obscure, I've brought The Wrens up fairly infrequently, which is a bit unusual for a band I've had so sizable of an investment in.  Words usually fail me in summing up their dizzying sonic panache, but that probably goes for anyone whoever attempted to describe the dense layers of multi-tracked harmonies and overloaded melodies that threaten to topple over virtually any song they commit to tape.  The basis of their back catalog is comprised of three stunning albums: Silver (1994), Secaucus (1996) and The Meadowlands (2003).  The first two arrived on the indie Grass Records (later Wind-Up) imprint, a label that was eventually sold to BMG.  After the spellbinding Secaucus (and the outright migration of Grass Records itself), the New Jersey quartet went back to square one, and via DIY channels shopped a self-funded cassette, Overnight Success, around to prospective labels.  Absolutely Kosher would finally give them a home in the early '00s, but as far as this post is concerned that's neither here nor there. 

Thing is, even those who pride themselves on being hardcore Wrens aficionados are to be given a pass on this lost holy grail, if only because it slipped out when the Web was in it's infancy.  In all honesty I didn't even catch wind of Overnight... until I was perusing the "indie" folder of a fellow MP3 trader on a file sharing platform in 2010, or thereabouts.  A thread on the Wrens message board, dating back to 2005, provides the most useful dossier of information on this exceedingly limited release.  What follows is a useful backgrounder and critique. 

Talk about pleasant surprises. . . more than a year after issuing their breakthrough Secaucus disc for Grass Records, and a good six months since they officailly parted ways with that label in search of greener pastures, The Wrens, still working on a major-label deal, have taken it upon themselves to release Overnight Success, an absolutely incredible batch of ten sonic-pop deconstructions that should serve not only to bolster their label bargaining power, but to build on their (all too) slowly growing reputation as one America's most intiriguing and inventive new bands, as well. If you can imagine XTC's avant-pop colliding with Pixies-esque tortured, blast-first guitar lines, capped by Richard Hell's new wave vocal twitch, you'd have a vague idea where the Wrens come from - but we're only talking ballpark here. The recording quality of this self-made, basement production is murky - nearly bootleg variety, but the songs are as stunning, provocative and well-arranged as you're going to find. 

What the above write-up doesn't mention is that Overnight Success was comprised of ten songs, of which I have only six, I'm happily offering here.  Not as sonically sweeping as any of their proper albums, these half-dozen tunes are still about as intoxicating as anything you're likely to hear Wrens-wise.  A major treat for those of you who've only been exposed to the official releases.  If any of you have an original copy of the tape, or a complete digital version.  And for any neophytes who've made it this deep into the text, you can sample album tracks on the Wrens site here as well as a 1995 single that I posted awhile back.  BTW, a fourth Wrens album is tentatively slated for later this year.

From the Rack
Take Me or Leave Me
Don't Be Shy


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New noise: Graham Repulski - Cop Art (Big School) and Kent State/Shivering Window split cassette

I wanted to take a break from my usual volley of retro grooves to zero in on a couple of contemporary acts that have become not just perennial favorites, but veritable bi-annual and tri-annual mainstays on these pages - Graham Repulski and Kent State.

I've long waxed on Graham's longstanding exaltation of everything lo-fi, stemming largely from his appreciation of the Godfather of that very form itself, Robert Pollard.  His prodigious absorption thereof usually materializes in ninety-second blast-waves of frizzy and fractured noise-pop that are startlingly similar to that noted Dayton, OH avant-bard.  On previous releases, including the teaming 2011 full-length, Into An Animal Together, alongside countless cassette eps, our man was oft found sloshing about in the backwash yet to recede from the great Bee Thousand flood of '94.  His newest LP, Cop Art is chockablock with a likeminded assortment of crackly and clangy cacophonies, but Graham's once deeply penetrating melodies ring a little less poignant, at least throughout side one.  Established customers and G/R completists need not shy away in the least, however new ears would be advised to plunder his back catalog Bandcamp style before delving into his latest, but perhaps not-so-greatest.  Cop Art should soon be available on LP direct from Big School, and digitally here

Nearly as prolific we have L.A.'s Kent State and their new split tape with Shivering Window.  Equally as noisesome, if not more so than the aforementioned Repulski, Kent State's murky muck might impress you as a scuzzy, art-damaged deconstruction of everything from Swervedriver to Japandroids, plummeting the fidelity bar basement-ward big time.  Decent, but you might have more fun with last years Behind Closed Doors ep.  Splitting the difference with them is Shivering Window, the tape-hiss enshrouded brainchild of Matthew Gray.  His two drum machine-enhanced contributions here skew in the vicinity of Lou Barlow, but are otherwise unremarkable.  This cassette cartridge will be limited to 100 copies, and made available in late May, but you can stream the whole thing right this very instant over at...you guessed it, Bandcamp

Monday, April 22, 2013

You and me raking leaves, all day for no pay…

This week’s entry is the unheralded sophomore effort from a ‘90s Cali indie trio.  It’s an initially unassuming album that reveals itself slowly, a la Twice Removed or Pinkerton.  It also happens to boast the same sort of wryness of the aforementioned, albeit with less of an emotional tug. 

Having difficulty accessing the file?  Please try again a little later.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving Netkup's servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.  


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Badgers - Picnic ep (1992, Wilde Club)

Well, well, if it isn't another cold case.  The Badgers were a Brit four-piece who unfortunately adopted an already ubiquitous moniker, making for a rather aggravating search engine query.  That aside, mouthpiece Emma Hewitt possess glass-shattering pipes, which fortunately for us dovetail well with Robin Jeynes echoing guitar fills, especially on the furious title track, and the nearly as fervent "Ragged Jack."  The most obvious comparison I can draw would be a group equally as arcane, The Millions, who I featured way back in '09.  Shades of the Sundays filter through the curtains on the sleepy "Rejuve," and much fainter glints of Tsunami and the Spinanes peer in as well.

01. Picnic
02. Cycleface
03. Ragged Jack
04. Rejuve


Saturday, April 20, 2013

All I see is a void...

Hope ya'll had a lovely and prosperous Record Store Day 2013.  This one is for all of you who were unable to find it (and sadly, probably never will). 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Game Theory - Ziggy's, Winston-Salem, NC., 10/12/85. R.I.P. Scott Miller (1960-2013)

Another college-rock legend has departed this mortal coil for the choir invisible.  Although the circumstances have yet to be reported, Scott Miller of Game Theory/Loud Family/Alternate Learning renown passed away this Monday at 53.  Like many of the "yesteryear" indie acts I pimp on Wilfully Obscure, I discovered Game Theory a few years after the fact - but luckily in enough time before their albums (specifically on CD) started going for extortionist prices online.  Playing just about any given G/T disk is invariably a treat - yet for whatever the reason I never quite "immersed" myself in any particular album.  This bodes well for me in the respect that I'm not the least bit burnt out on anything with Scott's name attached it (heck, I still haven't gotten around to some of the later Loud Family albums).  Had my investment in his music been greater, I'm confident I could dispel a far more profound remembrance than this, but alas, most Scott Miller die-hards would deem me as a casual fan.

Scott's slyly offbeat vocal panache wasn't far removed from that of Mitch Easter and the dB's Chris Stamey.  Game Theory's crooked pop muse made for good company with that lot, albeit Scott and Co. were a west coast proposition.  G/T and Loud Family were routinely pegged as power-pop, but their comparatively dense and oblique song arrangements placed them on the left side of that continuum.  The concert I'm presenting here is situated around the era of G/T's first proper full-length, Real Nighttime, which wasn't their most sophisticated work...but they were definitely getting there. Overall, it's a fine soundboard memento from this period, boasting plenty of their early signature songs.

For the time being, pretty much the entire Game Theory catalog is available free for download via the Loud Family website.  In addition you can check out a collection of demos for widely revered Big Shot Chronicles album here. Perhaps more Scott Miller-related goodies are to follow later this year...

01. Gloria
02. I Tried Subtlety
03. Shark Pretty
04. Curse Of The Frontierland
05. Never Mind
06. Linus And Lucy/24
07. Waltz The Halls Always
08. Rayon Drive
09. Where You Going Northern
10. Make Any Vows
11. Here It Is Tomorrow
12. Real Nighttime
13. She's The Sweetest Queen


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Donner Party - Complete Recordings 1987-1989 (2000, Innerstate)

After some coaxing by one of my readers, I've decided to share this collection in it's entirety, as opposed to merely the album's worth of Donner Party tunes I put up as one of my Mystery Monday features a few weeks ago. Truly in a class by themselves, this mid-fi, Bay Area indie trio may ultimately be remembered as a footnote to the career of frontman Sam Coomes, who would eventually helm a considerably more popular band, QuasiIf that wasn't enough, Coomes also played bass with Portland's Heatmiser, who themselves featured a rising star in Elliott Smith, but I digress.

Out of all his ventures, The Donner Party fascinates me the most, not only by virtue of their small but excellent body of work, but by their strikingly casual and humble tact.  A tact, I might add, which was perfectly conveyed by Coomes fey croon, one that was apt to impart a bevy of wives tale motifs, morbid scenarios, character vignettes, and several benign, offhand references to Satan.  Frequently accompanied on backing vocals by drummer Melanie Clarin, the Donner Party had an endearing chemistry that sinks in the moment their records first grace your ear.

Sonically the band meshes well with early Camper Van Beethoven - a band who-not-so coincidentally released the Donner's second album on their in-house Pitch-a-Tent label.  You can throw in Let's Active for comparison's sake as well, and when D/P really get crankin' (i.e. "John Wilkes Booth") they even forecast the likes of Superchunk. In fact, a lot of territory is covered ranging from punk ("Sickness," "Treepig"), folk ("The Owl of Minerva"), a Sesame Street cover ("Up and Down") and even a dazzling foray into full-tilt bluegrass ("Halo").  And it all works, courtesy of Commes relentless whimsy, wherein mercurial gestures evenly split the difference with the macabre and misanthropic.

Complete Recordings features their two albums (both self-titled), a third unreleased LP, and closes things out with eight live cuts.  Over 50 songs total (far too numerous to type) but click the tray card scan
to your right.  Below is a breakdown where everything is sourced from.  Enjoy.

Disk One
1-15. first album (Cryptovision Records, 1987)
16-28. second album (Pitch-a-Tent Records, 1988)

Disk Two
1-4. second album continued
5-17. unreleased third album
18-25. live 2/2/89 at Berkeley Square

Disk One: Hear
Disk Two: Hear

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fighting for the smallest goal, to get a little self-control.

Todays Mystery Monday feature is a live album from a contemporary singer/songwriter.  That should narrow it down for you, right?

Having difficulty accessing the file?  Please try again a little later.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving Netkup's servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Deacons - With Hope and Sincerity 7'' (199?, Pogostick)

Here's a slab of Brooklyn post-punk that was minted at some point in the '90s, before that locale painted a new-school whitewash on what is now a ubiquitous sound.  In all honesty, I should stress the "punk" quotient, because that's what the Rich Stremme-lead Deacons emphasize on ...Hope and Sincerity's three bristling numbers.  Perhaps it's Stremme's unique vocal penchant, or the working class themes explored within, but the Deacons naggingly bring to mind Stiff Little Fingers.  The quartet's sonic aptitude wavers towards DIY minimalism, but the less-is-more thing is typically a selling point here.  One Base on an Overthrow dedicated some text to a split single these chaps did in 2009, which you can peruse here

A1. Paper Soldier
A2. D Train to Brighton
B. Dreams of the World


Saturday, April 13, 2013

All 2008 download links fixed.

You're welcome.  In fact, all d/l links spanning January 2008 to today should be functioning.  When Rapidshare pulled the rug out from every single entry I poured my time and effort into, I surmised that only a fraction of the content would be returning.  Instead, I went for the entire enchilada, and hopefully by months end, just about everything on these pages will be accessible again (I only have one more year to attend to, and it's half a year at that).  If any of the Netkups links appear to be broken please bring them to my attention.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hummingbirds - "Word Gets Around' 7" (1989, Rooart), "Alimony" 12" (1990, Rooart)

How's this for a grossly belated follow-up?  About five and a half years ago I featured the Hummingbird's scrumptious, Mitch Easter-produced loveBUZZ album, and haven't uttered their name since.  In the interim I've obtained a pair of singles contemporary to that LP, each bearing an exclusive b-side.  The 'birds were a co-ed Sydney, OZ four-piece who weaved indelible jangle-pop songs, the quality control of each befitting a greatest hits album.  Deeper background details have been made available about them in my loveBuzz post, due in large part to some thoughtful commenters.

"Word Gets Around" is a soaring saccharine high if there ever was one, that manages to avoid any insipid transgressions.  The flip, "Today of All Days" constitutes the icing on an already gratifying cake, thanks to a bevy of chiming arpeggios worth their weight in six-string gold.  "Alimony's" ballad-esque b-side "Candle" settles for a slower pace, clocking in at just over six minutes.  Side two of this 12" also features "Word Gets Around," but since it's the same iteration as the supplied 45 version, I opted not to be redundant.  As for the d/l link to loveBUZZ, I plan on updating it shortly.

Word Gets Around 7"
A. Word Gets Around
B.  Today of All Days

Alimony 12"
A. Alimony
B. Candle


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Rangehoods - Rough Town ep (1984, Big D)

Some of you older folks in the audience may recall a Seattle power pop combo, The Heats who issued an acclaimed album, Have an Idea at the dawn of the eighties.  Scintillating as that platter was, lead Heat Steve Pearson went onto a somewhat lesser known quartet, The Rangehoods whose quality control was even more stringent, at least as far as the contents of this ep are concerned.  Possessing a timbre almost identical to Tommy Keene, Pearson leads his fellow Rangehoods through five Plimsouls-ish jewels, without over or under-doing a god damn thing.  Dare I say this is borderline stupendous and one of my best retro finds of late?  Dare I do.  Masterful stuff.  Enjoy.

01. Rough Town
02. Chip on My Shoulder
03. Dangerous
04. Used to Be You
05. Not a Boy


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Donnie Iris and the Cruisers - No Muss...No Fuss (1984, HME)

Thought this would be an ideal follow-up to yesterdays Mystery Monday selection (if you missed it, sorry).  Probably the least well known of Donnie Iris' '80s albums, No Fuss... tacks in the direction of his rollicking debut LP which placed him on the trajectory of a mainstream breakthrough, Back on the Streets.  Unfortunately that trajectory would gradually decelerate, really through no fault of his own, and by 1984 he found himself on the indie HME imprint.  Without a doubt, there's a gratuitous pedestrian slant was baked into No Fuss's Rundgren-esque pop/rock recipe.  Mind you this played quite well in an era when there was still plenty of tolerance for enterprises such as Donnie and the Cruisers.  Sure to cost me a few punk points, there are nonetheless several delectable salvos of dumb fun, with "Injured in the Game of Fun," "Follow That Car," and "10th Street" ranking among my favorites.  No Fuss... was briefly reissued on CD and sold through Donnie's website.  It has since become a pricy collectors item, at least on Amazon.  The two albums that preceded it, The High and the Mighty and Fortune 410 are available here and here, respectively.

01. Injured in the Game of Love
02. 10th Street
03. Ridin' Thunder
04. You're My Serenity
05. L.O.V.E.
06. Follow That Car
07. Don't Cry Baby
08. State of the Heart
09. Headed for a Breakdown
10. I Want You Back


Monday, April 8, 2013

Are you really gonna tell me that there's nothing wrong?

If it's Monday, it's mysterious.  Having difficulty accessing the file?  Please try again a little later.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving Netkup's servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Buzzcocks - Drone Studio Sessions (1991)

In relatively uncharacteristic Wilfully Obscure fashion, tonight's "content" is being plucked straight from another blog - one which I'm not so sure is getting the attention it richly deserves to be honest.  Since the topic at hand warrants broader exposure I'm making an exception. To cut to the chase, this is a collection of demos the Buzzcocks cut in anticipation of what would be the first of several reunion albums in the '90s (and beyond) namely 1993's Trade Test Transmissions.  By any measure, TTT was hardly the logical successor to the Buzzcocks previous LP, A Different Kind of Tension.  A fourteen year gap between records and lineup alterations have a way of engendering that sort of "discrepancy," for lack of a better word, but these passionate, and frankly rawer interpretations often outdo the finished versions - "Isolation" and "Never Gonna Give Up," for starters.

Though it went largely unnoticed even by the most die-hard of Buzzcocks fans, an ep, Alive Tonight, quietly preceded Trade Test in 1991, with all four of it's titles ("Alive Tonight," "Serious Crime," "Last to Know," and "Successful Street") taken from these recordings.  Enjoy.

01. Never Gonna Give It Up
02. Serious Crime
03. Dreaming
04. Last to Know
05. Run Away From Home
06. Tranqualizer
07. Alive Tonight
08. When Love Turns Around
09. Isolation (end cuts)
10. Successful Street
11. Who'll Help Me to Forget
12. Why Compromise
13. Australia


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rattail Grenadier - s/t (1988, Roadkill)

I was introduced to Rattail Grenadier via the crucial, Ben Weasel-curated Punk USA compilation (sound familiar)?  Hailing from Lafayette, IN, the quartet's album was produced by fellow Hoosier, Paul Mahern of Zeros Boys/Datura Seed's renown.  One thing Rattail were not particularly big on was sophistication, and this disk presents a wellspring of dumbed-down themes, proving that the lowbrow bar can always be pushed further south, at least a notch or two.  Sonically, Rattail ranked somewhere amidst early Murphy's Law, the first Screeching Weasel album, and D.R.I., thankfully resisting the latter's metallic urges.  Steve Best's pipes were on the gruff side, but not a dealbreaker, however if there was any member of the band the spoils went to it would clearly be bass wrangler Mass Giorgini who eventually spearheaded his own troupe in the '90s, Squirtgun, and furthermore oversaw the production of zillions of punk records from that era and beyond.

This rip was taken from a rather static-riddled vinyl copy, and despite spending at least a full hour removing the most egregious pops and snaps, sizable portions of it sound less than pristine.  Then again, when the going gets this sophomoric and frivolous you might not notice.  As you're likely to discover, Rattail Grenadier is best absorbed in small increments.  

01. Life Sucks
02. I Wanna Be Right
03. Pay My Price
04. Suicidal
05. Mein Thangus
06. Line of Duty
07. Doomed
08. Human Extermination
09. Me Want Bimbo
10. Are You Just a Number?
11. Breeding Corn
12. Child of Pain
13. Coca-Cola Shirt
14. Solomon Gumorra
15. Fate's Dark Call
16. Mother
17. What Happened Last Night


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Jabberjaw - Novelty 7" ep (199?, Homemade)

Well, another blog already did more justice to this Cali trio than I'm ever going to, and they even went so far as to share this very record.  From what I can tell, their link isn't functioning, but this is my own rip anyway, so who's keeping track?  With that out of the way  I don't have a copyright date for Novelty, but the mid-90s, say 1994 or '95, would be an excellent guess.  It was around that time I was absolutely besotted with combos like Jawbreaker and Jawbox - both of whom, as it would turn out, had just minted albums that would more than endure the test of time.  The prospect of yet another "jaw" band appealed to my sensibilities, and upon learning of Jabberjaw via an ad and/or review in Maximum Rock and Roll, I hastily whipped out my checkbook (an act, by the way, that I'm not quite as hasty in performing these days).

Upon receipt/review of Novelty, I must have dedicated just one listen to it, because almost immediately thereafter I relegated it to a box where it remained undisturbed for almost twenty years.  My assessment of it now is likely no more charitable than it was back then.  Jabberjaw's ambition was in the right place, but their capabilities were amateurish, doling out dime-a-dozen pop punk missives that might have been salvageable with a different frontman on the mic.  In fairness, Adam (last name undeclared) actually does justice to the record's finale, the fittingly titled "Ending," but when an instrumental ("Two Days") reigns superior above the remainder, something is definitely amiss.  At any rate, you can draw your own conclusion below, and if you happen to find it more stimulating than these ears did, please visit Everything I Could Never Tell You blog for more enlightenment, who by the way lauded Wilfully Obscure in their comments.

01. Two Days
02. Wonder
03. Looking Down
04. Ending

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Scratch Bongowax 7" ep (1991, Dionysus)

I was introduced to this fairly prolific Thousand Oak, CA crew via the crucial, Ben Weasel-curated Punk USA compilation Though plenty snide and irreverent, Scratch Bongowax's pop and cranky garage-rawk tangents must have made them stick out like out like a sore thumb amongst their purist punk contemporaries.  Mudhoney by way of Mr. T Experience?  Sort of - and to large extent it actually works.  As for the defaced visages adorning the cover, this somewhat unsettling "motif" would carry over to each and every future S/B record sleeve.  A thorough and mildly entertaining bio can be enjoyed at their Myspace corner of the web, and their discography is detailed here

01. Pall Bearing Insurance Collecting Widows
02. Teenrage
03. Thirtynothing
04. You'll Want Me Back Someday


Monday, April 1, 2013

Looks alright, tastes alright...

I'm kicking off a week of punk rock records with a devastating album that was a top shelf favorite of mine, circa the mid-90s.  You might say this one delivers a swift blow to the Shins.

Having difficulty accessing the file?  Please try again a little later.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving Netkup's servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.